A pawn shop owner who allegedly fenced off hundreds of thousands of stolen New York goods and even attempted to open a store with the stocked goods was charged Thursday, officials said.
The operation’s alleged ringleader, Roni Rubinov, recruited nearly three dozen people as “boosters” to steal from upscale city stores, pay them pennies on the dollar and sell the goods online for big profits, Attorney General Letitia James admitted known.
He also paid $1 to $2 for cosmetics and other drugs stolen from drugstores like Duane Reade, according to the indictment, which was unsealed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday.
Over a three-year period, between January 2017 and January 2020, Rubinov acquired more than $3.8 million in stolen property and turned nearly $0.14 million in profit from its online and physical businesses, it said in the indictment.
He would allegedly direct his employees to move the stolen goods from his Midtown offices or his Diamond District pawn shop, New Liberty Loans Pawn Shop at 67 W. 47th Street, to his “stash house” in Queens, according to court documents.
Business was so good that the Queens pawn shop owner even signed a lease in December 2019 for a large storage space in Fresh Meadows, where he planned to open a “department store” for looted goods, the indictment says.
He also had his boosters stolen from stores in the hundreds of thousands in various gift cards, authorities said.
Mayor Eric Adams hailed the bankruptcy as a win for businesses hit by a surge in theft during the pandemic, which has led to NYC storefronts being closed or under consideration.
“This case is so important because it shows that this is not shoplifting but organized crime,” he said.
NYPD Assistant Inspector Nicholas Fiore claimed Rubinov continued his operation after his properties were searched on January 8, 2020, but the details or scope of those allegations have not been released.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/26/nyc-pawnshop-owner-indicted-in-massive-fencing-scheme/ NYC Pawn Shop Owner Charged in Massive Fencing Scheme